In general, people of all ages – and particularly older adults – have a much more difficult time adjusting to colder temperatures. This reality is what makes the just right “Goldilocks outcome” so difficult for your heating system to achieve. There is no magic remedy that will make everyone in your home instantly agreeable about the “correct” temperature to set your thermostat – or even whether to lower it overnight when you can find warmth under blankets.
But don't lose hope. After you cover the basics, here are some tips that might make your home temperature, like a bowl of porridge, “just right” for everyone in the end.
Tend to the basics first
Even the greatest energy-saving ideas ever collected will do absolutely no good if your home is plagued by air leaks.
Imagine: dutifully following every sensible energy-saving tip there is and then neglecting to repair a window riddled with cracks, gaps, and holes. As much as 25 percent of the air you're paying to heat could be going right out the window – proof enough that tending to the basics is both prudent and beneficial. So:
- Refer to two previous Hignell articles: “Save on Your Electric Bill: Don't Let Energy Go Out the Windows” and “Heating System Service Tips for Plugging Leaks & Insulating Your Home.”
- Check your furnace filter every 30 days – say, after you pay your gas bill – even though you might have to replace it only once every three months. If you have furry pets, or someone in your home smokes, you might find that your filter fills rather quickly with dust and dirt.
- Schedule your annual heating system tune-up with The Hignell Companies. The U.S. Department of Energy highly recommends preventive maintenance, and we do, too.
- Inspect and repair your ducts for leaks and loose connections – or have Hignell do it if you're uncertain how to proceed. Here, too, cracks, gaps, and holes could be costing you dearly.
By blocking the cold air that inevitably tries to seep into your home and preserving the warm air already in it, it will be faster and easier to find greater comfort using your heating system when you:
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees when people are home and awake; turn it down as much as you can overnight and especially when no one is home. Yes, these temps require an adjustment. Like the Consumer Energy Center, Hignell recommended that homeowners set their thermostat to 78 degrees while they were home and 85 degrees while they were away during the summer.
If the “plunge” to 68 degrees is too severe to make at once, try lowering your heating system’s thermostat by 1 degree or so every few days and be sure to:
- Wear several layers of thin clothing – and socks to keep your feet warm – rather than one heavy outer layer.
- Capitalize on the heat that naturally rises to the ceiling by setting your ceiling fans to turn in a clockwise direction so that the blades push down warm air.
- Keep your garage door closed.
- Place “draft snakes” along windows. Many stores sell these decorative fabric tubes that many homeowners also place along drafty doors.
Remember that The Hignell Companies is a full-service home maintenance company, meaning that there's nothing beyond the grasp of our experienced team of service professionals.
We'll leave no stone unturned in our quest to help your heating system make your home temperature “just right” – as well as anything else that's standing in the way of your comfort because we are experts in your home.